How Will You Use Social Media in 2020?

This is an updated version of an article from my Social Media column in the Career Development Network‘s  Newsletter – Volume 38, Number 1.

If you’ve been following this blog over the last several years, you know that there is a lot you can accomplish with social media. You’ve also heard about multiple platforms, from Twitter to LinkedIn, and many ways to participate, from networking to live chats.

social media in 2020

What can you do to improve your social media experience in the New Year? The first step is to take an inventory of what you are using and how you are using it. Then it is important to set goals for the future. Use the following checklist to both review your social use in 2019 and develop a plan for action in 2020.

Audit Past Participation

As you reflect on how and when you’ve used social media over the past year, what comes to mind? Which experiences were the most valuable to you in your career services context? Consider the following activities, and add others you’ve been involved with to the list:

  • Sharing information: You can benefit as both the sender and receiver of resources that are exchanged regularly through social networks.
  • Building and joining communities: If you’ve been active in the past year it’s likely that your accounts have more followers, and that you are following more accounts.
  • Networking with peers: We all stand to benefit from connecting with others who do what we do, and who work with clients and students in our target populations.
  • Participating in events: Social media makes it possible to learn from on-site conference and workshop sessions, even at a distance, by following the event hashtag (#) on social platforms.

Do you want to do more of these things or are there ideas here you have not yet tried? Start thinking about goals (more on that coming up)!

Conduct Profile Maintenance

Your social profiles may be overdue for some housekeeping. It’s not unusual to open a new account with good intentions, only to find it gets left behind when competing priorities overtake your calendar. Start your maintenance with the following steps:

  • List all of the accounts for which you are currently registered.
  • Categorize these according to use: 1) use often, 2) use rarely or never, but want use this year, and 3) use rarely or never, and probably won’t use in the future.
  • Delete those accounts in category 3, and then update the rest.

For the social profiles you use often, or plan to make better use of in the coming year, block some time on your calendar to review and refresh the details of each one. Here are just a few of the items you should include on an annual (or more frequent) maintenance schedule:

  • Update your profile picture. Have you ever met someone at a conference and realized that his/her picture must have been taken many years ago? Make yourself more recognizable by posting something current. [1]
  • Revise your bio or headline. Is your current profile information still relevant? Have you completed a degree or earned a credential that should be included? These bios introduce you to the world, so ensure that all of the pertinent details are in place.
  • Test links. If you profile includes links to a personal or professional website, online portfolio, or other resource, make sure that they are still working.
  • Provide contact information. If you are open to having other users contact you based on your social profiles, include some alternatives (e.g., email, online contact form, phone) and make them available

Review and (Re)set Goals

Are you using your social accounts and networks the way you thought you would when you set them up? Maybe you’ve tried several strategies that aren’t getting the results you planned for. It could be time for a change. What do you want to get out of the experience this year? Your goals might include items such as [2]:

  • Establish a brand for your center or practice
  • Publish updates on a regular basis (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly)
  • Share new types of resources, such as images and video
  • Engage in discussions through live events and/or online forums
  • Promote special events

Create a Task List for 2020

Taking some time to think about what’s working and what’s not, and setting realistic and relevant goals, will help you make the most of your limited social media time. Plan to accomplish several specific tasks in the coming months. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

  • Make a list of the items you routinely share, such as event calendars, marketing materials, pictures, and links, and schedule these items for the coming year, and add something new to the list.
  • Create a roster of people you want to connect with in the New Year and begin making contact with each one through social accounts and communities.

Whether you are using social media as an individual professional or as part of a school career center or other career office, you can enhance your efforts with a little reflection, revision, and action.

References

[1] The Research and Science Behind Finding Your Best Profile Picture from BufferSocial – http://bit.ly/1ODrmVo

[2] Social Media Inventory Checklist: Are Your Social Marketing Efforts Outdated? From Business2Community.com – http://bit.ly/1Ps8OL2

So many tools, I must try them all!

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Here we are, the Tech Twins, at NCDA Houston! We had a blast meeting at our presentation, where we met so many other Tech Fans. In addition to sharing our own current favorites, we turned the tables and asked participant to share their favorites. Here they are, busy at work!

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They wrote lists on a google drive document, they wrote them on notecards, and they shared them on our newsprint. Here’s just one page: IMG_3631.jpg

And, true to our word, when we got home, we added them all (86 NEW ITEMS!!!) to our library, including 3 new categories (wilderness therapy, relationship therapy, and multicultural topics).

Here’s a quick reference that might be helpful as you search for new items in our library: https://www.wikihow.com/Search-in-Google-Sheets-on-PC-or-Mac Also – we have our orientation video to the library on this post: https://technologytwins.com/2019/03/22/introducing-our-new-tool-library/.

Here are the slides with our favorites:

Hope you take some time to explore these new tools. I (Deb) recently tried out Genius Scan (recommended by our users) to see if the end product would look better than a simple picture.  I’ll let you be the judge! The one on the right is Genius Scan. I took them both on a table, under the same light. I even brightened the one with the left!

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As an aside, NCDA proposals for 2020 are underway! Come share your knowledge with us!

 

Getting Ready for #NCDAHouston!

It’s hard to believe that the 2019 NCDA Global Career Development Conference is happening next week.

If you are planning to attend, please consider joining us for our session, #112 Share and Share Alike: Peer-Recommended Tech Tools that Bridge the Distance in Career Development, on the schedule for Thursday at 3:30pm.

Thanks to Karol Taylor, who sparked the topic idea with her suggestion to have a roundtable where attendees could share their favorite apps, we have a full session of sharing planned. Deb and I will each share our top 10 tools of the past year, we will introduce our growing Tool Library, and we will let you know about a few other helpful technology collections. But, the exciting part of this session will be the resources suggested by all who attend.

If you aren’t able to be at the conference in person:

  • Watch this blog! We’ll share not only our slide presentation, but also the tools we collect during the session, shortly after the conference.
  • You can also follow the conference hashtag, #NCDAHouston, all week.
  • What tools would you recommend? Add your suggestions here in the comments area. 🙂

 

Trying a New Tech Tool -Google Jamboard

I (Deb) teach a technology and counseling course in the summers, and each summer, I try to cover not only what is longstanding technology (telephone counseling, email advising/counseling, video chats, dropbox/google drive), but also to push the envelope in exploring other tools such as apps and also collaborative tools. This past week, I experimented with one of the tools in Google Drive, the “jamboard.”

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This class meeting was face-to-face, but I try to have them use technology regardless. The focus was on how to ethically integrate technology into face-to-face counseling, including what needed to occur prior to that decision, during (when with the client), and after it was introduced. They were divided into 3 groups of about 8 in each group and asked to use the sticky notes (but not talk) to brainstorm options for their group. Here’s an example of the before group:

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Following this, they were told to organize the stickies into similar themes. You can see the “during” group’s attempt at doing this as they started changing the colors to match the theme.

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Finally, they were asked to collapse similar ideas and then prioritize them into steps. This is the “after” group’s attempt to do this:

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Following this, we discussed each stage, and I added to it, and allowed other groups to add to each group’s ideas. Then, we processed the use of the tool, and how it might be used with a client or with other colleagues. We decided that the tool was useful for the first part of brainstorming, where everyone throws ideas up, and it gave everybody the chance to contribute. It became more difficult in the next steps, where the decision had to be made as to who would do the classifying, and who would prioritize the steps. Clearly, 8 people couldn’t do the prioritization, and there was no easy way to foster that decision. Someone would have to step up to be the leader, even if it was with the goal of delegating tasks (you 3 prioritize the green stickies, you 3 prioritize the blue…).

The class thought that this could be a useful resource with a client in a number of ways. If the client was struggling with anxiety or depression, this board could provide a number of creative strategies or reminders (e.g., cognitive reframes) to help them in the moment. By the counselor also adding in a few (hopefully evidence-based) ideas, this could also strengthen the working alliance. The board could also be used to house goals, steps, links to videos or resources, encouragements, and so forth.

As an instructor, I thought it was a useful tool. I hadn’t thought through the mechanics involved in the steps of ordering and prioritizing. I guess I figured they could figure that out – but it proved to be a situation where one person in each group just took over. If I were to do it over again, I’d probably provide some suggestions on how to go about those steps. My goal in not was to provide them with the freedom to explore and create without my being overly prescriptive – but the desired result didn’t occur. Next time, I might have a sticky that outlines next steps, such as providing specific steps that need to occur, enough so each person might have a task, and have each person to put a sticky with their name and task #, from which point they would proceed. All in all, it was a fun experiment. It achieved the goals of building experience with a new technological tool for the students, as well as helping them to think through the steps of integrating technology. I’ll probably keep this one with some minor modifications for next year.

Dysfunctional Career Thinking

How one thinks about themselves, their options, and how they make decisions is an essential component of effective career decision making, as identified by Cognitive Information Processing. When that thinking becomes negative, or even escalates to dysfunctional, it can color the way the one views their strengths, interests, skills, as well as their career options. It can even impact their decision making process. Imagine telling yourself “I never make good decisions” as you are trying to make a career decision- it’s not going to bode well for the process!

Thus, career practitioners must learn how to help clients identify and alter those thoughts that are prohibiting progress in career decision making.

To read more about DCTs, check out this blog entry, written by Tech Twin Deb.